peter molyneux

peter molyneux

My name is Peter Molyneux. I am 56 years old, my birthday is the fifth of May. I have been in the games industry constantly from -- I think 1984. So I've, you know, come out as a youth in the games industry, I've grown up, and I'm now approaching late middle age, and bizarrely the games industry has kind of done the same. In a weird sort of way, it's grown up.

When I started in the games industry, it was just kids in bedrooms and the word "industry" was perhaps if we ever met in a hall somewhere and sold computer games off trestle tables or met in what was called a developer's conference, in a pub in London somewhere. It's grown up as I've grown up.

You know, to a great extent, the computers game industry has directed my life and it has been my whole life other than my wife and son, obviously. But that aside, everything else has been around the computer games industry, and it's been an incredible honor, really -- honor is the right word -- to have been part of something that I've witnessed growing and evolving and changing and thrashing about with its own existence over those decades.

So, how old were you when you started? You said '84.

Yeah, so, '84. So that would have been, gosh, I would have been about 25, I guess? Yeah, 25. Yeah. Before that, I had a proper job and I went to college and got a degree in, you know, did all of that stuff in computer science, but that was -- you're talking about, with computer science there, more about how to feed the punch-card machine and, "How do I stick the tape machine in?" more than anything to do with science particularly.

Then I had a job in industry for a while, with this crazy entrepreneur who taught me that if you want to set up your own business, just do it and don't think of all the negative things and that was a fantastic learning experience, and then after that I set up my first tiny little company, which failed for very good reasons. That was where I did my first game as such, yeah.

This is a cheesy and broad question that will probably make you laugh, then think, then say something simple but profound: What has it been like to age with a medium? Like, what do you think about the passage of time with your own life contrasted against that of your work and the audience?

Yeah, growing up, being a grown up, as opposed to being a kid -- and I still think of myself when I started as being a kid is all about realizing the scale of your life and the scale of the things you do in your life. I think when I first started out, it was, "Let's start a company, write a game." That was the plan.

As I've grown up, it's less about me and more about the people 'round me and the team around me, and the idea being justified to the team around you. That feels like growing up, just like any human being. Kids.

Do you have any kids, David?

No.

Kids are the most self-centered individuals you could possibly imagine. It's all about them. It's all about them and they camp and the world outside of what they can see and hear just doesn't exist. And in a way, growing up in the games industry is being like, you know, a kid becoming an adult because slowly you realize that, "Okay, the first game I did was more or less on my own and I could work all night and it could be crap and it didn't really matter." But as time has gone on, I've had to work with people, and those people, they put an enormous trust in you. They put the most valuable resource that they have -- that any human being has, the most valuable resource is their time.

As projects have gone on and as the decades have gone past, the teams have got bigger, and the trust that those people put in you has to be more and more because a lot of those people, they're talented people. They can do other things.

And you're not talking about a game taking a week to write. You're talking about a game on some occasions taking years and years and years to write. And that's a lot of time and a lot of trust that people put into you. So you have to -- you have to grow up. It's all about scaling your risk and scaling your responsibility and that feels like becoming an adult.

Do you think -- is it really growing up, though? The games industry, I mean.

The other side to it is if growing up means that you get defined and your ambition gets narrowed and blinkered, then I don't think that's what growing up should be.

What is it, then?

I think growing up should be -- you should broaden your horizons, you should increase the amount of challenges that you take on. Because a lot of people think of growing up as, "Okay, I'm gonna do crazy things when I'm 20 and then stop doing crazy things and start doing sensible things."

Well, I think you should do crazy things all the time.

[Laughs.] I would agree.

Sometimes doing crazy things is you should deal with plans all over the place and risk assessment and KPI's and SWOT analyses to prove that your crazy plan is a good plan, and sometimes you should do what I did when I first started in the games industry, which is to just say, "Fuck it. Today, I'm working for someone else. I'm gonna leave. I'm gonna set up my own company." That was all the risk assessment I did, and I think growing up shouldn't stop you doing that. You should be more responsible with doing that. You should realize the consequences more, but it shouldn't stop you.

Because I think what really -- and we're talking philosophy here -- happens when you grow up is you have got this well of experience to draw on. This well of, "I've been through this before and this is how it turned out last time, and so I'm going to do it this way again, or I'm going to do it differently."

And if you draw -- the more experiences you have, the more you've got to draw on, and hopefully the more you can use those experiences because, you know, now I'm 57. I don't know -- I mean, I don't even know how many games I've started and finished and I don't even know how many games I've started and not finished. But it's a lot. And that's given me a lot of experience.

And that feels good, in a way.

So, were you reluctant to talk to me and to have a conversation?

Only inasmuch that I think that when all the press stuff happened, I said to myself and to the people I work with, "Look. My days of commenting on the state of the industry and my days of talking about abstract things that don't currently exist are done. They are over. They cannot happen anymore."

Because no one -- there was so much. This is one line: "Peter Molyneux over-promises," which was just so dominant when anybody read anything that I had spoken about, that it destroyed anything I spoke about itself.

However, if I can talk about a product, if I can say, "Look. There's this game. It's released on this day. You can download it, and this is my comment on it." I think that's fair game. I think because that's not going to be over-promising. That, I'm just going to be talking about what it is I've made and we're getting closer to being in that position now and, you know, I think there needs to be context pieces around me starting to talk to the press again and this is perhaps one of those context pieces.

Does that sound logical? It was kind of a reaction to the situation that was going on.

You know, I had this Rock, Paper, Shotgun interview and during it I said, "Right, that's it. I'm done talking to the press." But, to be honest, it had been in the back of my mind for some time. And it was highlighted, really, by this ridiculous comment that I gave about which was released, which was called Dungeon Keeper. It was blown up out of all proportion and context and, you know, it was a tiny little bit that I said about it. And that lead me to think, "Just a minute. This is getting ridiculous. I'm not really commenting. What's happening is there are bits of what I say being cherry-picked out."

As so often happens.

And those bits have caused, you know, a huge amount of suffering to the poor Dungeon Keeper team and a huge amount of suffering to us at 22Cans, so why the hell would you go on and do that again?

Why do you think there is so much entitlement in videogames?

To comment?

To comment or what to expect out of their purchases beyond them just functioning as products -- we were talking before about that Unity tutorial you were watching on YouTube. Well, you saw it, so you can explain.

Yeah. It was horrible. You know, this poor chap had spent all this time doing all this stuff and this person didn't say, "Oh, this is not very good." They went to the ultimate, dial 11 on the insult scale and they trashed into him. And that -- I think there's a couple of things to realize. And it's not just about computer games, by the way. It's about everything. It's about the world that we're in now. It just so happens that computer games tend to -- we tend to see more about computer games because of course the people who play computer games are very tech-savvy.

So they're already using social media and they're incredibly tech-savvy.

I'm not sure this is true, but I think it's partially true: We, the computer games industry kind of started really creating fan sites. This is where it all started, these fan sites, they're before Twitter and before Facebook and before -- this is global boards we're talking about now -- there were fan sites. And they had boards on them and you could talk on those boards.

And so you're not dealing with an audience that has just been introduced to social media, you're dealing with an audience that's been using some sort of of social media for a very long time now. So, that's the first point.

The second point: The trouble is with hashtags and the trouble is with YouTube comments and the trouble is with Facebook comments -- you don't know who this comment is from. Is it from a 13-year-old who just wants to, you know, get someone to reply? You know, he's got no social barometer formed in his mind. Is it from that person, or is it from a hardcore gamer who has in his mind a really strong idea of what a game should be and if any game has crossed that boundary he just takes it personally?

So you don't know from that comment. There's no history to that comment. There's no context.

So when someone says, as they did on my Twitter feed, "Why don't you just shut up and die?" You don't know whether that's from someone who is a 60-year-old or someone who's a 6-year-old.

And so I think there is a consciousness -- there's a group consciousness which these boards start taking on and they start taking a life of their own. But we're still, as a society trying to sort all this stuff out.

And we had in the games industry -- I forget the gate of. There was some comment about women in gaming and Gamergate and all of that stuff, and every -- I reckon every single industry has had that. It's interesting that Donald Trump is actually getting a similar sort of reaction now on Twitter where women have decided that they're going to hashtag him on their menstrual cycles.

So, you know, the whole world is trying to sort out what happens when you give anyone a voice and the freedom to post anything.

I know, from my own personal experience it feels good if you post onto somewhere and you get someone posting back or you get retweeted or you get followed. That feels fantastic. And if something feels fantastic, you're going to want to do it again. And if insulting something gets you retweeted or gets you followed, then you might do it just for that reason. There's a whole host of psychological reasons why you do that.

There's a study I read last year from, I think, a university in China that said the most instantaneous to connect with another person through technological means is anger.

Mmm. Well, exactly.

Everyone understands anger. There's no subtlety to it.

[Laughs.] This is true.

It's very interesting. One of the problems with Twitter is the limitation on the number of characters, because if you type into Twitter and you get feedback on something on Twitter, you might well say, "I quite like this game but this or that feature is slightly bum balanced" you've run out of characters. It's much easier to say, "This is all shit and I hated it" because you've only used up a few of your characters.

Anger is very easy. "It's fucking shit." That's all you have to -- you don't have to qualify that. There's no qualification in that. It's just a pure anger. And of course, the great thing about that anger? It's something you probably don't do in real life, especially in today's politically correct world. It would be unusual, I think, in today's world to walk up to someone and say, "I think you're fucking shit."

You would go to Twitter and say it. You would never say that in person or even over the phone. And that anonymous nature is there.

I mean, we can sit and analyze this 'til the cows come home. The game industry is not special or different. It may have had this a little bit more and a little bit earlier than other people, but everything from political parties to members of the press to the royalty of here -- everyone is suffering the same problem of when you allow total freedom of speech and you allow people to complete access, one to one access, almost, so that the people who frustrate them or the people that they follow or the people that annoy them -- then this is inevitable.

This may be somewhat related, but I know a couple years ago you criticized Microsoft, their E3 showing. I don't know if you remember this.

Yes.

You had said their showing was "unprofessional" and that they were caught up competing with Sony and they both seemed to be forgetting about the audience.

Mmm.

Well, do you remember saying that before I ask you any questions about that?

Yeah, and I remember saying that. I went over and did commentary where I worked as a kind of presenter for IGN. I watched the conferences, and I've watched it as a consumer and I kind of realized at the time -- and I think was very true of the industry a few years ago. They were spinning on things that -- and Sony was the same -- had really no relevance. What we wanted as gamers is we wanted, you know, the games to be talked about and the games to be shown off.

I'm struggling to remember the exact scenario, but I'm sure I did say that, yes.

Oh, it was in The Guardian. I didn't want to delve too much into the minutiae of that.

I'm sure it was true. I was sitting on a panel of people and we were looking at the conferences. This is probably 2012, or maybe '13. I think it was 2012, and so the next generation of consoles weren't out.

We were just talking about it, and there was a kind of a lack of consumerism about their shows. They weren't talking to consumers. They were talking to press.

And I think my comment was, "Really, what we want is we want you to talk about the games. And we want you to focus on the games and convince us that you're making a console that us gamers will want to buy and want to play games on."

And that sounds like a very obvious point, but I just feel there was spinning at that time -- this is purely from memory, so it could be wrong -- on connecting a console to Facebook or connecting it to Twitter and doing all the things that were away from the central point of why I spent $350 on a console, which is a place to buy games.

Yeah. The question I wanted to ask is I've sensed that too, and I've been at E3 where they've rolled out, like, "Hey, we have Netflix!" And it's like --

This last year, I thought the conferences were much, much better. They were about -- I think they felt like they were talking about the right thing because they make these consoles as game consoles so that we can play great games on them and that's exactly what I thought last year as well.

[Laughs.] I would agree with your characterization. I did feel like in June this year it was a bit more of a conservative course correction. But, I mean, do you get the sense coming up with it on a different side than I have -- has the industry turned its back on the audience it had been creating for a few decades?

Yeah. I think there's a realization that's come about. And there's two things that's happening in parallel, really.

The first thing is -- and it's incredible. It's an amazing thing, David. The games industry is huge. We're not talking about 10 million gamers anymore. We're talking about a billion gamers. If you take mobile phones and you take PCs and Macs and everything else into account, probably at this very precise moment in time there's probably hundreds of millions of people playing a game at this moment in time. And so, this world that we thought about and that we've lived in and conceived is much, much bigger than we ever thought perhaps it could be. And that's because these devices have come about which weren't from the console manufacturers like Microsoft and Sony, they were from Apple and Google and they've put gaming machines or the ability for people to be able to play games in everyone's hands.

Now, winding back, the dream of Microsoft and Sony in the mid 1990's and Microsoft in early 2000 was simple and pure and public: They wanted to have a console in every living room in the world. That's what their dream was.

And Microsoft, they -- I believe the reason Microsoft got into it was they didn't want Sony to own the living room. They realized the consumers were there. Now, the slight unfortunate -- because what's happened is instead of us all staying in the living room, we've all left the living room and we're all all over the place. So that's left consoles in tricky position, because they're still designed to be played in the living room. They're probably played just as much in the bedroom now, on the TV.

Microsoft and Sony always had this one saying: "We want to be input one."

That was their reason to exist: On televisions, whatever's plugged into the input one on the back of your television is the thing that comes on when you turn the TV on. They wanted to be input one.

Well, maybe they are, maybe they're not. It's just a lot of competition has come about for that input one.

But what's happened -- not many years ago, maybe six or seven years ago is everyone realized that the living room wasn't the place that people play games so much anymore. They're playing games everywhere. So they've had to slightly redefine what a console is, and what they're redefining consoles to be -- which is a huge relief, as far as I'm concerned -- is to be the games console. The core gamer's consoles. To be something that -- it's the only place that you should shoot a first-person shooter is on a console. It's the only place that you should play a driving game, is on a console. And so they are appealing with pinpoint accuracy to a much smaller audience of perhaps 10, 15, 20 million people. Much smaller an audience than the potential mass audience of over a billion people. And that means that they've had to evolve their message from being, "If we want to be input one on your television, we're gonna have to support Netflix and Facebook and we're gonna allow you to stream movies."

And of course every gamer would want that, but not every consumer wants to use their console for that.

But they would have to go from that position into somewhere where they realized that, as we saw with the last conference, it's all about exclusives. It's all about exclusives that are on those consoles and me, as a core gamer, which I regard myself as, is thinking, "Why do I want Sony over Microsoft?" It's nothing about the hardware. It's all about the exclusives, because I want to play Halo or I want to play Last Guardian or whatever it is.

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Do you get the sense, though, that there is some alienation from the audience -- the people who helped support the industry to get off the ground in the '90s and the '80s that maybe they've been swept to the side in favor of this other audience you're talking about?

Well, you're touching on the whole indie-myth mentality, I think.

Well, I mean more from the player's side.

Yeah. Well, you know, this is no -- again, we are realizing that there is a formula that needs to be applied to our industry, just like the film industry and the TV industry applies a formula, although for a long time I've said I'm sick of this formula in the film industry. The film industry's formula is simple: It is we'll release a superhero blockbuster in summer, we'll release a weepy film in the autumn.

You can almost say, "Well, this year we had Fantastic Four. Next year we've got bloody Thor again, we're a bit sick of him. We're gonna have another Spider-Man remake." It's a complete formula.

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And I think the computer games industry, especially the core gaming, is playing around with this formula. You know, we almost know the date of Call of Duty up to recently. You can almost pencil it in in your diary. Which is fine. Which is great. Which is absolutely fine. But my push point is that if we're not careful, we'll end up like Hollywood, which is -- the movie industry is slightly playing second fiddle now to the TV side.

I think consumers are generally more excited about TV series than they are about films now because I don't think the film industry has done a very good job of evolving out of this very lucrative formula that they got into, and I worry about the games industry doing the same. Yes, I want to play the next Destiny and yes, I want to play the next Halo and the next Call of Duty. Of course I do. But already with Call of Duty, you can feel there's a tiredness about it, which is kind of wearing me down.

And I wonder about that for core gamers.

If we don't continue to innovate for them and if we don't continue to sort of smash their expectations of what could be entertainment on these devices, then ultimately they're gonna get bored. And boredom will destroy that little section, and it's a little section of the industry.

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And there's a lot of fantastic things happening on the PC, you know. A lot of people forget the PC exists. It doesn't have quite the marketing dollars that the consoles do, but there's a lot of very interesting titles that come out on PC. Of course, the most famous is Minecraft.

I could never believe that Minecraft could have been born on the console. It can be exploited on the console, of course, but I do think that experimentation and innovation needs to be as important on the consoles as it is everywhere else.

Now, you had said before we started -- you made a comment about the limelight and the game industry. You said there are a billion people playing, but tell me a little bit about how being in games is not the same as being in the Hollywood limelight or another bigger form of fame.

Well, I mean -- all of these questions, by the way, David, are huge, massive questions. Any of which -- they are massive. And this one is a particularly large one because there's lots of aspects to this question about limelight and the games industry.

Yeah.

The first aspect we need to talk about is that when you talk in the games industry, unless you are specifically talking about yourself, really, it's not your voice, it's your team's voice that's talking. And a lot of people don't realize that when you start shooting someone down that's in the limelight, whether this be an Ubisoft producer or you're a small indie team representative, you're talking about a team. So that's the first thing to bear in mind.

The second thing is that whoever you are, you only got a certain life in the limelight. There's only a certain amount of time that's going to pass before people are going to tired of what you say or what you're saying doesn't ring true in people's ears anymore. That sometimes is measured in years and sometimes that's measured in months. The weird thing, I think, about being in the limelight is realizing that every syllable of every word that you say can be cherry-picked out, you know, like you said with The Guardian article. You can take one sentence out of a paragraph and they can be highlighted and they can get you into a lot of trouble. Especially if you're deemed to be someone who is anyway influential.

And then the last thing to bear in mind is that a lot of the people that I enjoy listening to -- and I include myself in this, obviously -- hasn't been really media trained, so, you know, it's easy to make mistakes. Especially in this hyper politically correct world that we live in. It's easy to make mistakes. You've got to really -- when you're talking to the press and you're in the limelight -- you've really got to watch every single word you say. I know a lot of people do ponder for an awfully long time before they do any public-facing interviews.

I've never really done that, and I've always thought -- I've always spoken from my heart as opposed, perhaps, too much and not enough my head. I do find myself getting the bland vanilla message from people just bores me.

[Laughs.]

And you can read -- you can tell when those messages aren't coming from the heart. I find it fascinating when you can just see inside someone a little bit from an interview. You learn a little bit more about them and you get to feel the amount of passion that they've got and, you know, you get to see them, how they're excited about what they're doing. They are. And that's always been the center of -- when I speak to the press, I always say to myself, "Well, look. All I've gotta do is to do what I do in the team all the time, and that is to try and show them where a project is going and where I want it to be as opposed to, perhaps, the politically correct approach to it."

That, obviously, gets you in trouble.

I think in the earlier days of the industry, I think that sort of approach was much more common. In the '90s, I think it was all about people talking with passion and talking about what their ambition was. Whereas today, I think it's -- the world is a slightly different place and people really want to know, perhaps, about what lead you to create something, not what's leading you to create something. That's only one-letter or two-letter difference, but that's an important distinction.

That's a pretty seismic difference. I think at times, it's frustratingly incompatible with the games industry where so much stuff can be gatekept or it has to go through PR. Like, I know, right now I could probably ask you about why you made Populous and why did you make these creative decisions.

Yes, yes.

But it seems like that's a really difficult thing to understand or to know without being on the phone with us right now. It makes it, I think, a difficult thing to grow with the medium or to make you want to be a fan in the way that you can, say, when you watch a documentary about a musician or read a biography about a poet. You know what I mean?

Yeah. And what's so interesting is, I think, for a long time the games industry was so centered around E3, and to a lesser extent GDC, and a lot of the interviews that were curated for the press around E3 were about titles that weren't finished. They were about titles that were being made.

And E3 caused everyone to go through this loop of -- this spin of hype, if you like.

Because you weren't talking about something that was necessarily completed. If you take Halo -- if you take Fable, this game Fable I worked on for a long time. [Laughs.] I can remember we did a demo of the game and this demo was pretty much this 100-person team focused on this demo for months and months. But we were years away from finishing the game.

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And, of course, if you're years away from finishing anything, features that you talk about or maybe even show in this demo may never surface again.

And, of course, that caused you -- you were kind of forced to almost to talk about things that didn't exist at the moment. Where a lot of other entertainment mediums, and awful lot of other entertainment mediums do more of a post-mortem press, more of a, as you say, "What lead this musician to write this track? What lead this director to use this camera shot?"

I suspect that we -- my solution to this current press solution that I've got is to go over to that side of talking about things and less about talking about things that are in development and more about talking about things that have been developed. I think that's a much safer place to be, anyway, and you're not gonna get yourself in trouble.

Because for a long, long time I was talking about -- because I've always said this to myself and to the team: "Look, you know, people are gonna be generally fascinated with what we're doing in making this game as we do it. I would be fascinated to what's going on in the game as it's happening."

But I think that's so dangerous in today's world because I think it leads -- especially in the last experience I had with Godus is that a whole, huge charge of people remember this game that I made decades ago and they, you know, kind of populated that with their own ideas and then created an image of a game in their heads that didn't match what they finally played. It pissed quite a lot of people off.

In summary, dealing with the press or dealing with -- forget about the press. The press, it's not their fault.

Doing anything in a public-facing way is incredibly challenging in today's world, and triply challenging if you're doing something that the consumers wanna get their hands on.

And the reality of it is, too, is there are two of us on this conversation.

Mmhmm.

And I know there are gonna be people who are gonna be reading this who will say, "Man, well, David's just going too easy on him."
What I don't understand is why do people take videogames so seriously and why they need to mean so much to them. I was curious what you would say and what you thought the lesson would be, from that interview six months ago, and it's interesting because I feel like also part of the message is, "All right. Peter has been pretty much consistent as far as the things that he puts out and the way that he carries himself."
And, you know, I talked about this with a couple of colleagues who knew that you were up for talking to me in the course of figuring out what I felt and what I wanted to ask you about. But the thing I kept coming back to is: "I wonder if the message is just people think we should try to be less creative publicly? Less enthusiastic? Less earnest?" Because the way I understand and see it is you get excited about your ideas, and yet you also are in that position of you have to show stuff before it's ready and things change.

You know, the other problem is that -- what you've got to remember is that this is my excuse, if you like. The way I talk to those people is the way I talked this morning to the Godus team in this very room I'm talking in. That's with passion, and it's with belief, and it's excitement. Incredible excitement. I mean, I do have the most amazing job in the world. I mean, David, I get to think of the craziest, maddest, insanest idea and then I get to play it. [Laughs.] I mean, Jesus. How can I not be incredibly excited?

And yes, I could have and maybe in hindsight I should have. I should have put that excitement put it in a box and I should have crafted it and melded it and gotten the message just right so when I spoke to people in the press it came out in the most politically correct way.

But that's not the way I'm built.

My solution to this is the best solution, I think: It's not to expose people to that excitement, because people will think it's a promise. They do. They think it's a promise of utopia, of gaming utopia.

When I was doing Fable 1, I said this one line early on: "We are making the best RPG game ever." And I said, "Of course, we're making it. Why would we not think we're making the best RPG ever? Why would we even start a project if we thought we were going to be make the tenth best RPG game ever?"

And that headline, "Fable Will be the Best RPG Game Ever" then dominated those headlines for a while and got me into an awful lot of trouble.

I just feel that, you know, I get ridiculously excited about the games I'm working on.

Just today, there's two things I got amazingly excited about. One is about this game I'm working on at the moment called The Trail, and there is Jamie and I -- Jamie's the other designer on the game -- we were in the room, and I was leaping all around the room because we built this new game mechanic. That is the most wonderful experience you could possibly have, is to have that feeling, that sensation. It's hard to describe what it feels like.

It's like true creating something out of nothing, which is wonderful, but I can understand that when people -- when that gets turned onto text on a page or even people hear my voice in a recording, they think, "Oh."

It becomes like a promise.

And when you're dealing with people's anticipations and you're dealing with what they hope and what they expect and what they can't wait to get their hands on -- you always have to exceed people's expectations, but if your voice or your press message has driven their expectations up into the stratosphere, it's very hard to exceed that.

So, you know, I think -- I have to take personal responsibility for the things I've said or the way I've said it. You know, if I just carried on and said, "I'm Peter Molyneux. I do say crazy things. Deal with it."

Then I think people would rightfully probably kill me or something. I don't know. But if I now change my approach and say, "I will talk about things in hindsight when you can play it. But I'm never going to talk about features or games that don't currently exist."

Then I think maybe that's a more responsible way because, very simply put is, you know, people just get tired of hearing this voice drone on about how excited he is about the next game and they're just gonna get tired and bored of it and I can totally understand that.

You know, I've always -- this is why the Rock, Paper, Shotgun article really hurt a lot. I've always tried to be completely honest with people. It may not come across that way because it can be an over-promise, but I've always tried to be completely honest about what I'm developing and why I'm developing and actually say things which have gotten me into trouble before now.

And you know, I don't want to stop talking about games I have made but I do want to stop talking about games that aren't yet finished.

You're taking the mature approach to this, which is you see it as a learning opportunity and you take ownership for your actions. But, you know, you are not in a vacuum here. Do you think -- even outside of yourself -- are you really saying the audience should be stay as excited and the media has a right to call you a pathological liar?

Well, the media and anyone in today's world has a right to call me anything they want.

[Laughs.]

How much that I take on myself and that influences me after the Rock, Paper, Shotgun article and the associated articles with it, it was a very, very tough time. I'll be absolutely honest with you. And, you know, I did question it for a while. I questioned my past and what I'd done. Of course this is always going to bring you to a place of self-analysis.

But I think the responsible place to do is to use that energy, that creative or negative or what be it, and just make a brilliant game. My revenge, if "revenge" is the right word, is simple: just make a great a game. Because that's the best revenge I could possibly have, is to make Godus into a great game and to make my next game a great game.

Because, at the end, that's the answer to everything, is to use that negativity just to make a unique and better game that I could have made because I can then turn around to people and say, "Okay, my message was wrong. I shouldn't have hyped it, whatever it was, but look at these games. They're good games, they're different, they're original. They're everything I want them to be."

That would, I think, be a wonderful place to be.

I don't mind. Absolutely, I don't mind that if Rock, Paper, Shotgun or Eurogamer or whoever it is turns around and said, "We recreated Peter Molyneux because of our negativity."

Because that's fine.

Because to a certain extent, that's true.

Does that make sense?

It does. I mean, I have friends who have been through versions of your experience. Death threats sent to them daily. Rape threats sent to them daily. Rape threats to their daughters. I know a bit about people being awful. I understand people called you a name, and I understand that the way that it cuts and the way that you're like, "Well, this is my job and I'm going to rise to the occasion and I'm going to also go silent for a bit."
So, yeah, I understand completely.
Well, I know you said you had about an hour and I think we've been on about an hour.

Yeah, I feel David, there's probably more of the conversation to have because I haven't talked about this.

Well, this is positive. I don't completely understand it myself. I just feel that what wins out through all of this is just the amazing experience I have of doing this job and if I have to take this stuff on my back, you know, to continue to do the job then I'll definitely do that.

And as I said, and I didn't explain it very well: It was inevitable, David, that it was going to happen.

It was just a matter of time. And there are other people in the industry I probably wouldn't name who it's going to happen to as well. In public life, you only have to look at someone like a politician. If you look at someone like Margaret Thatcher, for example, she started off as being this paragon of art and virtue and the press absolutely loved her and the public loved her and by the time she went out of office, she was regarded as a psychotic woman who had destroyed Britain.

You know, she'd just been there too long. I try to use the analogy that you would get as tired of me, but I just think we all mistakes.

Yeah. Let's catch up tomorrow.

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